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Multi-faith march in Bradford after Christian convert attacked

by Hannah Tooley

Wilson Chowdhry, from the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) is behind the idea and told Premier it is all about unity: "It's a multi-faith peace vigil that will be attended by key figures from the Islamic faith, Hindu faith, Sikh faith and Christian faith.

"We hope that by showing unity in this fashion we're showing seeds of peace and love, rather than hatred and division."

The event is being held after the attack of a Christian man in the city.

Nissar Hussain converted from Islam to Christianity in 1996 and claims that problems surrounding his faith began in 2008 when his family appeared in a Channel 4 documentary, Holy War, about how Muslim converts are treated.

Mr Hussain suffered a fractured knee cap and hand when he was attacked outside his home in St Paul's Road, Manningham, Bradford, last month.

CCTV footage shows that he was struck 13 times with a pickaxe handle and kicked and punched repeatdly.

Police are investigating the incident.

Nissar Hussain, said: "We are under the cosh and classed as blasphemers.

"The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens.

"Most of the Muslim community here have turned a blind eye to what we are going through.

"There are some who have condoned it but there are also those who are directly committing hate crimes against us."

On Satuday an online petition will be submitted to 10 Downing Street calling for a national policing policy that includes better protocols for tackling the rise of apostasy hatred and for apostasy hatred to be included within the existing framework of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said: "It amazes me that within a free democratic nation with an established police force and robust legal framework, apostasy hate crimes of this nature are able to go unpunished and perpetrators enjoy an impunity that would be enviable in more primitive environments such as Pakistan.

"These failings suggest Britain is pampering to the whim of extremists leaving victims such as Nissar Hussain to suffer the ignominy of a cycle of relocation form one area of hatred to another at great loss to their financial, mental and physical health."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speak to Wilson Chowdhry here: 

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